You Thought Arizona Was Insane?

Then think twice! Virginia is disputing the crown of the most wackadoo state in the nation. Virginia’s governor has signed a law obligating all high school students to take at least one online course in order to be eligible to graduate.

This is simply bizarre, people. Online courses are notoriously worse and less productive than real contact courses (I’m preparing to teach an online course this summer, so I know what I’m talking about.) People take online courses out of necessity, when nothing better is available. Why force anybody to take an online course when there is no pressing necessity to do so?

In order to succeed in an online course, one needs to be a very responsible, organized individual. I can see such courses being successful when taught to adults. But high-school kids? There is no chance whatsoever that every high-school student in the state will have the capacity to succeed in such a course.

I also want to point out that the governor who signed this weird legislation represents the party that claims to be against excessive governmental intrusion into every aspect of people’s lives. Forcing students to take courses of a certain format just because the governor’s left ankle thinks it’s a good idea qualifies for excessive intrusion in my book.

18 thoughts on “You Thought Arizona Was Insane?

  1. Ah governor McDonnell, vice presidential hopeful… the things you do.

    I’m pretty convinced that he’s crazy, but I didn’t know about this aspect of his craziness. Thanks.

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  2. I am not sure of the exact details, but I think Florida is even worse. They want to institute some kind of voucher program where the money would go not just to barely supervised charter schools, but to full online high schools too (yes, they exist). Again, not sure of the details, but sounds horrifying enough.

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      1. Sounds awful. I’ve seen it in my current state, but it still isn’t actively promoted (probably because the governor is bent in destroying other things before public education).

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  3. WOW WOW WOW. This makes me sputtering mad. I feel like Republcians won’t rest until they have completely destroyed the K-12 and the public university system in this country. I am horrified.

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  4. “Forcing students to take courses of a certain format just because the governor’s left ankle thinks it’s a good idea qualifies for excessive intrusion in my book.”

    This is especially true seeing as either of the governor’s ankles don’t have brains, and so can’t think on their own. 🙂

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  5. Ok. Why does Virginia Governor Robert F McDonnell a.k.a. Bob “Vaginal Probe” McDonnell as his detractors call him want everyone to take online courses. Maybe it’s the 670 million in educational funding cuts during 2010 or the fact that Virginia ranked 31th out of 41 states in the “race to the top” competition. Most of his campaign financial contributions come from Political Action committees with untraceable donors so we don’t know if the money came from people with a financial interest in this policy. He does say on his governor’s webpage “using new technology and pedagogy to replace outmoded methods of service delivery with cost-effective instructional programming.” I guess that he’s referring to your current class room practice.

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  6. Translation: He’s been given lots of money by a company that makes software for education or an online school and wants to pay them back. Plus more online courses means he can fire more teachers and pay more administrators to his way of thinking. Win-win.

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  7. That is possible. It also occurs to me, the governor may be getting a kickback from the online company.

    Totally OT: look at this really weird blog that I found because it is looking at me:
    controlbabygendernaturally.blogspot.com … how to eat right (and more!) so as to get the baby of the gender you want. Bizarre.

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  8. Ok. Here’s the smoking gun. The following quote is from the Washington Post. “K12 was the only private company present during talks (Virginia legislature)to craft that legislation (about online courses in Virginia). (Gov. )McDonnell has received $55,000 in campaign contributions from K12 or its executives since 2009, including a $15,000 payment to his political action committee this month.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/virtual-schools-are-multiplying-but-some-question-their-educational-value/2011/11/22/gIQANUzkzN_story_4.html

    K12 is the largest private online course producer in the States and is headquartered – quess where! – in Virginia.

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    1. Ha! So people who suspected corruption from the outset were right. I just thought that this was an instance of silliness, nothing more. I now recognize that I was too near-sighted.

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